Madam Walker’s Irvington mansion hits the market

And that has preservationists very worried

TRD New York TRD WEEKEND EDITION /
Feb.February 19, 2017 11:16 AM

It’s a fascinating and unfortunately obscure fact the America’s first self-made millionaire was an African American woman. Madam Walker made her fortune developing and marketing beauty and hair products for black women. And she used her wealth to build a mansion in Irvington — a neighborhood the Rockefellers and Astors also called home. But despite its landmark status, preservationist are worried that Walker’s home is in jeopardy. 

Dubbed, Villa Lewaro, Walker built her 34-room Italianate mansion in 1917. And exactly a century later, the current owners of the home, Harold and Helena Doley, are getting ready to move. And there is fear that new owners might make significant alterations to the home.

“Even though it’s a National Historic Landmark, there’s no oversight or review to stop an external agency to propose changes to the building,” Brent Leggs, a senior field officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, told the New York Post. “It’s one of the most important women’s history sites — and African-American history sites — in the country.”

Designed by New York’s first licensed black architect, Vertner Tandy, the three-story stucco villa features a tiered terrace leading to a swimming pool, marble floors, an Estey organ and music room. The house was left to the NAACP, sold, used as a retirement home and ultimately fell into disrepair. The Doley’s then acquired the property and carefully restored it, preserving all the original details.

“We would hope that whatever is decided that it’s open to the larger community, so that they can come and appreciate her and what she’s done,” Doley told the Post. They have not announced an asking price. [NYP]Christopher Cameron


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Gov. Andrew Cuomo with Judge Lawrence Marks and Judge Daniele Chinea (Getty, Linkedin, iStock)

Flip-flop on eviction ban extension highlights state’s chaotic response

Flip-flop on eviction ban extension highlights state’s chaotic response
Nelson Rockefeller and 812 Fifth Avenue Photos via Getty; StreetEasy; Google Maps)

Fifth Ave co-op owned by Rockefeller family hits market

Fifth Ave co-op owned by Rockefeller family hits market
Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner with 199 Mott Street (Getty; Modlin Group)

Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner list NYC pied-à-terre for $5.9M

Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner list NYC pied-à-terre for $5.9M
A million homeowners haven’t requested forbearance on their mortgages — and are now at risk for foreclosure and eviction. (iStock)

1M struggling homeowners didn’t request forbearance. Now what?

1M struggling homeowners didn’t request forbearance. Now what?
(iStock)

Landlords lost about $9B in rental payments last quarter: report

Landlords lost about $9B in rental payments last quarter: report
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez with their Malibu beach house (Getty; Courtesy Compass)

J-Lo and A-Rod part ways with Malibu “fixer-upper” for $6.8M

J-Lo and A-Rod part ways with Malibu “fixer-upper” for $6.8M
State Sens. James Gaughran, Brian Kavanagh and Kevin Thomas (NY Gov; Getty)

State Senate hearing confronts racial bias by brokers

State Senate hearing confronts racial bias by brokers
State Sen. Julia Salazar, Barbara Corcoran and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty)

State says Barbara Corcoran is on board with broker-fee ban

State says Barbara Corcoran is on board with broker-fee ban
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...